State of Financial Crime 2023 Report

Old Dogs, New Tricks: How existing money laundering typologies are impacting the emerging FinTech landscape

Financial Crime Challenger Banks Knowledge & Training

The way in which we interact with our banks has changed significantly over the past decade. Financial Technology firms (FinTechs) have enabled greater flexibility, not only in our choice of banking provider, but also in terms of how we access and control our money. Where once it was necessary to visit a bank branch during office hours to deposit a cheque, we can now upload a picture directly from our smartphones at any time of day; or, we can instruct international payments from our couch; make a virtual asset trade whilst taking a walk; or even apply for a loan on the bus.

Whilst banking has changed to better suit the needs of the law-abiding general public, so too have the opportunities for those that wish to abuse and exploit the financial system. Advancements that have been designed to increase ease of use and expediency have in turn been targeted by criminals for exactly these design characteristics.

Money laundering is not a risk unique to FinTechs. However, some characteristics of the FinTech sector may carry higher financial crime risks without proper controls in place.

This paper will explore how existing money laundering typologies might impact the developing FinTech landscape. In support of this paper, an anonymised survey was conducted amongst a number of FinTech financial crime experts from around the world to understand how they perceive the current and future threats facing the financial industry.

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Originally published November 30, 2021, updated May 6, 2022

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